August 9, 2007

"We Can Work It Out"

That's interesting how Capitol Records used the Beatles for Sale (1964) album cover photo when the songs were recorded during the Rubber Soul (1965) sessions. No doubt Capitol wanted to rush something out for the Christmas of '65.

From the Wikipedia entry:

The Beatles recorded "We Can Work It Out" on 20 October 1965, four days after its accompanying single track, with an overdub session on 29 October. They spent nearly 11 hours on the song, by far the longest expenditure of studio time up to that point.

In a discussion about what song to release as a single, Lennon argued "vociferously" for "Day Tripper," differing with the majority view that "We Can Work It Out" was a more commercial song. As a result, the single was marketed as the first "double A-side," but airplay and point-of-sale requests soon proved "We Can Work It Out" to be more popular, and it reached No. 1 on both sides of the Atlantic, The Beatles' fastest-selling single since "Can't Buy Me Love," their previous McCartney-led A-side in the UK. A promo film was also made
:

The harmonium used in at least the recording of the song (it may or may not be what Lennon is playing in the video) is part of Paul McCartney's collection of musical instruments. He plays that very harmonium on "Real Love."

Incidentally "We Can Work It Out" is one of those rare, true Lennon-McCartney compositions. Again, from the Wikipedia entry:

McCartney wrote the words and music to the verses and bridges, with lyrics that "might have been personal" and thus a reference to his relationship with Jane Asher.McCartney then took the song to Lennon, and Lennon wrote the words and music to the middle eight.

With its intimations of mortality, Lennon's sixteen-bar bridge contrasts typically with what Lennon saw as McCartney's cajoling optimism.As Lennon told Playboy in 1980, "You've got Paul writing, 'We can work it out / We can work it out'—real optimistic, y'know, and me, impatient: 'Life is very short, and there's no time / For fussing and fighting, my friend.'"


2 comments:

dave van hulsteyn said...

Hey Exquisitely, it's me, Dave van Hulsteyn, one of your Flickr friends. I did a search on "We Can Work It Out" + "harmonium", and your blog popped up as, like, the 3rd hit. I was so flabbergasted to have stumbled upon you in a way so totally unrelated to our Flickr stuff that I had to leave a comment here. What a weird co-incidence, almost as weird as the time I found an old girlfriend by doing a search on "tapirs" + "ungulates".

Talk to you later. I'm off to read what you have to say on the subject of my query (no, I admit it; I haven't looked at it yet).

Chris said...

Hi dave! I know what you mean. When I saw your name, I thought it looked awfully familiar, but I just assumed you had commented here at the blog before. Strange, but I sort of segregate the two worlds (blog and flickr) in my mind as well. But I can't imagine why you would've found an old girlfriend with those search terms...

I hope you found what you were looking for!